“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, May 02, 2010

US Congressman Gutierrez "was very excited" about being arrested.

US Congressman Gutierrez Arrested Under the Red Flag in Front of White House
Chicago Breaking News


Chicago congressman arrested at D.C. rally
May 1, 2010 7:34 PM

Chicago U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez made good on his pledge to get arrested at today's immigration rally outside the White House.

The congressman was among 35 activists detained for failing to move from a sidewalk outside the White House.

"They were asked to move by park police and they did not and they were asked again a couple more times, then they started arresting folks," said Douglas Rivlin, a Gutierrez spokesman.

Rivlin said the protesters were taken in plastic handcuffs by U.S. Park Police and transported by bus to a processing center, where they were booked. Gutierrez was released around 7pm Eastern, Rivlin said.

Gutierrez was charged with a misdemeanor for "failure to obey a lawful order from a U.S. Park policeman" and was ordered to pay a small fine of between $50 and $100, Rivlin said.

Rivlin said Gutierrez had given U.S. Park Police a "heads-up" earlier in the week that he planned to join the demonstrators "as a courtesy." He said Gutierrez expected to get arrested and at the time of the arrest was wearing a shirt that said "Arrest Me Not My Friends."

Rivlin described the arrests "as very peaceful" and said Gutierrez "was very excited" about being arrested.


  1. Gutierrez, 47, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is the first Hispanic to represent Illinois in the U.S. House and won re-election last fall with 88.6 percent of the vote.

  2. Ammnesty will create many more like Congressman Gutierrez.

    Representative Gutierrez in the context of the people who he represents:

    llinois District 4 is 100.00 percent urban, 51.30 percent non-white, and has a population that is 74.48 percent Latino and 40.61 percent foreign-born.

    25.65 percent of adults working in Rep. Gutierrez's district commute using public transportation, on a bike or on foot.

    4.47 percent of adults aged 25 and older in Gutierrez's district have a Master's, PhD or Professional Degree.

  3. Constitution, Article 6 - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    The first Congress developed this requirement into a simple, 14-word oath:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States."

    The Civil War led President Lincoln to develop an expanded oath for all federal civilian employees (April 1861). That July, when Congress reconvened, "members echoed the president's action by enacting legislation requiring employees to take the expanded oath in support of the Union. This oath is the earliest direct predecessor of the modern oath."

    The current oath was enacted in 1884:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

  4. How will it work when a significant voting block with no US roots, ignorant of the US Constitution, elects law makers, sworn to uphold the Constitution and do not?

    Are we to understand that a current generation of US Citizens will not be able to transfer the culture and beliefs of previous generations because our numbers will be overwhelmed by anyone and all, foreign born, their famiiies and friends who claim an inherent right to influence the US simply by stepping over the border of this country, by any legal or illegal means?

    And there is a significant amount of US citizens that believe and accept that premise?

  5. You'll have to ask 'Rat about that.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Senate Democrats' plan highlights nation's shift to the right on immigration

    But the Senate shift also reflects political reality. High U.S. unemployment, an anti-Washington mood and violence from Mexico's war against drug cartels are feeding the public's frustration, particularly in Arizona, where smuggling-related violence and crimes are on the rise.

    Referring to the new Arizona law, a toughest-in-the-nation crackdown on illegal immigration, Graham said last week it "shows that the country is moving away from comprehensive [reform], and towards border security."

  8. What a morning:

    Washington rolls out the red carpet

    Stars and barbs at Correspondents' dinner.

    Climate bill: Dead or alive?

    Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

    Is the Senate climate and energy bill doomed with a new priority in Congress on immigration?

    Explosive device found in car in Times Square

    In press conference, N.Y. mayor confirms that smoking SUV held bomb-making materials; blocks of tourist district closed as police investigate.

    Greek PM: Bailout deal reached

    The massive rescue package aims to combat a debt crisis threatening to spread across Europe.

    Drug gangs go on the offensive

    Mexico's crime syndicates increasingly target authorities in a new phase of narcotics fight.
    William Booth

    Immigration proposal shifts right

    Senate Democrats' plan echoes growing support for tough policies even as protesters urge pro-immigrant reform.

  9. If the culture of the United States, formed in a melting pot, cannot adjust to another influx of immigrants, then US exceptionalism IS dead.

    Because it is the power of the people that has made US exceptional, not anything else.

    Those that oppose that position, mostly, are the elites of the East, the Ivy Leaguers and professional, multi-generational Federals.

    They'll tell you it was the Government that has made US great. Well I submit it was the people of the United States, the immigrants, that have made the difference. It is the varied creeds, races and nationalities of our people that have made the United States exceptional and free.

    The Standards set by Lady Liberty should not be abandoned, not if we are to remain a shining city, on a hill.

    The values and culture of the United States will blend with the additional immigrants, will change and progress, but that is the norm.

    As it was during the Irish and Italian influxes, as well.

  10. "Immigration" isn't the problem

    The uplifting tale of the hard-boiled immigrant, dipping his or her sweaty hands into the well of the American Dream, is one thing. Today, we find ourselves is an unsustainable and rapidly growing welfare state. Can we afford to allow millions more to partake?

    When the Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist Milton Friedman was asked about unlimited immigration in 1999, he stated that "it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both."

    Dependency programs incentivize not only those who want to work, but those who don't want to work. That's why we need to allow a generous number of immigrants and visitors to take a shot at the American Dream and become part of our economy. I'd just like them to do it on their own and check in first.

  11. 'Rat thinks the growth of the welfare state can be ignored wrt immigration.

    Could just as well advocate that we ignore the laws of gravity, and get our thrills with a mass jump off a ten story building.

    See no evil.

  12. Fine words but off point.

    The American Citizens should decide the future of the US, not the arbitrary decisions of those non-citizens that get into the US by any means.

    Those US politicians sent to Washington to represent the interests of legal US citizens have an obligation to enforsce the law or change the law.

    The French Lady in the Harbor did not have this little factoid in mind:

    In 1980, our Federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities, as follows:

    46,000 in Federal prisons
    74,000 in state prisons
    147,000 in local jails

    The article also notes that approximately 27% of all prisoners in Federal custody are criminal illegal aliens and the majority (63%) of those are Mexican citizens.

  13. Fantasy holds sway in the Rodent's "mind."

  14. Those statistics are the ones that have been caught, tried and sentenced. Care to guess as to the statustics of crimes that do not get solved?

  15. "If the culture of the United States, formed in a melting pot, cannot adjust to another influx of immigrants, then US exceptionalism IS dead."



  16. Let me help you with two additional facts.

    100% of all US crimes are committed by 12% of the population.

    60% of all reported US crimes are never solved.

    Now, extrapolate that fact to the reported statistics on illegal criminal held in US prisons.

  17. Now look at unreported crime:

    Japan 60%
    Canada 50%
    USA 50%

    and what do you think is the percentage for Mexico?

    According to the 2009 Mexican Crime Report, unreported crime rate is near 85%.

  18. There is no doubt, and there is overwhelming evidence that a significant percentage of US criminal activity is committed by illegal immigrants with the vast majority of them coming from Mexico and certain Central American countries.

    That is a direct consequence of the current and past federal disregard of US immigration law.

    That is a true outrage.

    And do we have to be suffered by the vacuous platitudes about the cultural enrichment and the strength in our diversity bullshit, along with the inevitable decline of dumb racist white America?

  19. Never has Noonan been more down to Earth:

    The Big Alienation

    Uncontrolled borders and Washington's lack of self-control.

  20. from Doug's link:

    The establishments of the American political parties, and the media, are full of people who think concern about illegal immigration is a mark of racism.

    If you were Freud you might say, "How odd that's where their minds so quickly go, how strange they're so eager to point an accusing finger. Could they be projecting onto others their own, heavily defended-against inner emotions?"

    But let's not do Freud, he's too interesting. Maybe they're just smug and sanctimonious.

  21. So pick a side or stand aside.

    Are you on the side of smugness or are you more comforted within your warm and fuzzy sanctimonious wrap?

  22. I'm not at all convinced that the current situation with illegals pouring across the border from Mexico is, in any way, analogous to prior waves of immigration from Ireland, Italy, etc.

    Ann Coulter said it best: We're a "Country," not a Department Store.

    Those prior waves of immigration were controlled, and the immigrants were examined, and, to some extent, screened. In virtually All cases they were "legal."

  23. Border disorder

    Last Updated: 4:39 AM, April 29, 2010

    South of the border, down Mexico way, a new and savage revolution rages just beyond our inspection lanes. After less than five years of fighting, estimates of the dead have reached 22,000.

    The rate of killing accelerates each month. And Washington covers its eyes like a kid at a scary movie. Well, the Mexican narco-insurgency, in which well-armed guerrilla forces confront the authority and presence of the state, is our No. 1 security challenge.

    The chaos in northern Mexico has far deeper implications for our country than Islamist terror or even an Iranian nuclear capability (as grim as those threats are).

    The rule of law has collapsed from Tijuana on the Pacific's edge to Matamoros and the Gulf of Mexico. Major cities are now "ungoverned spaces," as our diplomats refer tidily to distant trouble spots.

    More people now die violently on our southern border than in Somalia, Yemen or even Afghanistan. But Washington doesn't know what to do about Mexico. So Washington does nothing much.

    Our ruling class simply doesn't feel the pain. So the DC elite demonizes Arizona's desperate effort to shove the narco-revolution's disorder back across the border. Murdered ranchers, overwhelmed emergency rooms and soaring crime rates in our border states mean less to the White House than a terrorist detainee's claims of abuse.

    Our governing elite pretends that illegal immigration, torrential crime where illegals cluster, overcrowded prisons, Mexico's narco-insurgency, legal cross-border commerce and the drug trade are separate issues, to be addressed discreetly.

  24. nativism

    Dictionary: na·tiv·ism (nā'tĭ-vĭz'əm) pronunciation


    1. A sociopolitical policy, especially in the United States in the 19th century, favoring the interests of established inhabitants over those of immigrants.

    Interesting how many things never change (note the 19th Century time frame in the definition).

    rufus, what leads you to believe those 'earlier waves of immigrants' were well screened?

  25. defeatism

    1. the acceptance of defeat as a foregone conclusion and the resultant failure to make an effort to succeed.

    2. the views underlying acceptance of the frustration or thwarting of a goal, especially by the failure to prevent them. Cf. futilitarianism. — defeatist, n., adj.

  26. A sociopolitical policy, especially in the United States in the 19th century, favoring the interests of established inhabitants over those of immigrants

    Intelligent self interest ia anathema to the do-gooding left.

  27. paranoid


    1. Relating to, characteristic of, or affected with paranoia.
    2. Exhibiting or characterized by extreme and irrational fear or distrust of others: a paranoid suspicion that the phone might be bugged.

    One affected with paranoia


  28. Ash, read it again. I didn't say, "Well-Screened."

    I believe I said, "to some extent, screened." They were "spoken with," seen by a Doctor, I "believe" someone had to vouch for them.

    Anyway, they had to go through some form of processing (which means they were *inspected* "to some extent."

  29. I don't know if that old rancher was "paranoid," or not; But, he's sure as hell Dead.

  30. It was a drug smuggler that killed him wasn't it?

    "mmigrants entering the United States who could not afford first or second-class passage came through the processing center at Ellis Island, New York. Built in 1892, the center handled some 12 million European immigrants, herding thousands of them a day through the barn-like structure during the peak years for screening. Government inspectors asked a list of twenty-nine probing questions, such as: Have you money, relatives or a job in the United States? Are you a polygamist? An anarchist? Next, the doctors and nurses poked and prodded them, looking for signs of disease or debilitating handicaps. Usually immigrants were only detained 3 or 4 hours, and then free to leave. If they did not receive stamps of approval, and many did not because they were deemed criminals, strikebreakers, anarchists or carriers of disease, they were sent back to their place of origin at the expense of the shipping line. "

  31. I expect you to promptly buy up the last of the Gulf shrimp, rufus. To be frozen and later divvied-up among the Barflies for use as precious comestible barter in the aftermath of Oilmageddon.

    "Will trade rare, domestic shrimp cocktail for solar generator..." That kind of thing.

  32. It's the Slickocalypse, people! We may have to resort to our Hispanic invaders as a food source!

    Someone check the Mayan artifacts for possible cryptic reference to British Petroleum or mention of "some damn thing in the GOM."

  33. Soylent brown?


    (But spicy)


  34. If they did not receive stamps of approval, and many did not because they were deemed criminals, strikebreakers, anarchists or carriers of disease, they were sent back to their place of origin


  35. "In the past four years, I have argued in this space that nothing can or should be done, no new federal law passed, until the border itself is secure. That is the predicate, the common sense first step.

    Once existing laws are enforced and the border made peaceful, everyone in the country will be able to breathe easier and consider, without an air of clamor and crisis, what should be done next. What might that be? How about relax, see where we are, and absorb. Pass a small, clear law—say, one granting citizenship to all who serve two years in the armed forces—and then go have a Coke. Not everything has to be settled right away. Only controlling the border has to be settled right away.

    Instead, our national establishments deliberately allow the crisis to grow and fester, ignoring public unrest and amusing themselves by damning anyone's attempt to deal with the problem they fear to address.

    The American people fear they are losing their place and authority in the daily, unwinding drama of American history. They feel increasingly alienated from their government. And alienation, again, is often followed by deep animosity, and animosity by the breaking up of things. If our leaders were farsighted not only for themselves but for the country, they would fix the border

  36. More from Rockman:

    You should grasp that being a PPA is as much an art as a science. I’ve worked with drilling engineers that look to me first for help. I’ve worked with others that couldn’t care less what I had to say about down hole pressures. PPA’s are like stockbrokers: always making predictions but not always right. If a PPA isn’t credible in the eyes of the driller it doesn’t matter what he says. More than once I’ve warned of potential trouble coming and was ignored. And then took a kick. A guess what? The driller would as likely be pissed with me about being right than offer an apology. You can go high tech all you want, but if humans are involved it might not help you. When I’ve run into a driller that didn’t want to take my analysis to heart I would always respond the same: ”I’ll be right back…going to get my car keys from my bunk room”. When you abandon a rig you’re only allowed what’s in your pocket when you board the escape capsule. Needless to say that comment usually pisses them off but I’m not there to make friends. Have suffered some minor retaliations for that snotty comment. But I can usually give as good as I get. I know these words won’t bring much comfort for folks worried about future drilling efforts. But it’s the naked and occasionally ugly way the system works. You won’t see such a tale in a Chevron TV ad. But this is the real world with real people making real mistakes that no technology can prevent all the time.

  37. hmmm, rufus, thousands a day passing by those officials - they must of had some mighty fine databases and speedy networked computers to do all those background checks so thoroughly.

  38. And, more:

    dc -- And that's one of the biggest challenges in DW drilling. The difference in MW between a blow out and frac'ing the formation can be the difference between 17.2 ppg mud weight and 17.5 ppg. Then consider the complication that the pump pressure can add 0.4 ppg to the effective circulating density. But that's when you're pumping the mud. Stop pumping and you lose that extra back pressure. Obviously balancing can be very tricky

  39. Timor Sea blowout

    In a different hemisphere last August, another oil rig blowout sent thousands of barrels of oil spilling into the Timor Sea near Indonesia and East Timor. The culprit: a problem during cementing, which is supposed to keep gases and oil from shooting skyward and exploding into fire.

    That accident and the blast on the Deepwater Horizon had at least one circumstance in common. Both happened in a transition period when the offshore oil wells were being capped off and the gaps around drilling casings were being cemented shut to prevent pressurized gases and oil from escaping.

    Much more is known about the Timor Sea incident; a commission appointed by the Australian government has turned up solid evidence it was caused by a mistake during careless cementing operations.

    As we have discussed, Halliburton was the cementing contractor on both wells.

  40. Robot at the Blowout Preventor

    Still doesn't make sense to me why it would not be better to burn off as much as possible at the source.

    By now, maybe it's already too dangerous - set off half the gulf?

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Where do we read Rockman, Rufus?

    Halliburton says they had just finished cementing 20 hours earlier.

    ...but was not yet ready to plug.

  43. Wiping out the Gulf Coast is a yawn?

  44. I've been reading his comments, rufus.

    I cop to spending part of the afternoon crisis-whoring and have accordingly added at least four new acronyms to my already appreciable store, along with some Jeopardy-worthy esoterica.

  45. My first reaction Doug.

    I'll remove the post.

    I suspect most people are interested in knowing "what the spill means to me" not in oil rig engineering.

    Likewise, I suspect that as in an airplane crash, most can wait to find out why it happened until the experts have determined it rather than in idle speculation on a half dozen possible scenarios.

    Just me.


  46. Why then you must have the handy dandy address, also.

    Care to share?

  47. What kinds of odds do you give on that request Q?

  48. How about a url with one letter missing?

  49. Rockman

    Maybe so but there's another limiting factor: how much oil can flow out of the rock itself. Certainly thousands or even 10s of thousands bopd is possible. But such a flow rate can also cause the casing to collapse.

    It's called point loading and happens even under normal production rates. At such high flow rates even the rock itself can be sucked into the casing and kill the flow. That's called "bridging over". Right now BP is praying for either to happen. I've seen more than one blow out kill itself naturally while the relief well was being drilled.
    That would be nice!

  50. Maybe I am nuts, but on Friday I bought calls on BP.

  51. That was also mentioned, Doug, in a story out of Mobile, AL, this morning:


    While every effort to stem the flow of oil pouring into the Gulf has so far failed, it is possible that Mother Nature could do the job.

    "Me, I'm praying that the collapsing formation will plug itself up spontaneously. It's called bridging over, and it can happen if the wells are drawn too quickly," said Ron Gouget, a former oil spill response coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Essentially, the well becomes clogged with sand and rock fragments.

    Gouget said he is no expert on any of the potential ways to cap the gushing well, but has a good general understanding of the technology involved.


  52. I almost loaded up on GS and then I saw their performance in front of Congress and backed away.

    I bought a bunch of C a while back as a little speculation. I've done alright but if it ever hits $5 I could make a bundle.


  53. I addressed the solution to the immigration fiasco in March, 2006.

    It would have worked then. It will still work now. All it takes is the will to do it.

  54. trish quoted:

    "and it can happen if the wells are drawn too quickly," "

    sure would be nice but my armchair reading of the situation is that it is leaking relatively slowly. The rig toppled and the big long pipe fell to the bottom all kinked up with various leaks spewing oil into the sea. Hardly a blowout spewing oil at a such a rate that it would implode on itself from the force of the flow. Again, I make no pretension of knowledge in things related to oil blowouts, but it seems to be simply leaking...a nasty leak but hardly as fast as it could.

  55. ...and not only that but it sounds as if it is 'light sweet crude' leaking at only 5 swimming pools full a day (using Deuce's measure). Still, the rust colored light sweet stuff spread only a faction of an inch thick upon the surface of the water seems to be striking fear into many a heart.

    The majority of the damage is still theoretical is it not?

  56. "...sure would be nice..."

    Exactly. It's a hopeful scenario. Unwitting nature itself intervenes to solve a man-made problem. I don't lay odds, but simply repeat the possibility.

    In related news, wind and surf has damaged about 80 percent of Alabama's coastal boom lines, according to the governor. OTOH, that same wind is keeping the oil offshore Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida for at least the next 72 hours. And NW wind is expected to push the slick a little further south from the LA coast at least through tomorrow.

  57. "...seems to be striking fear into many a heart."

    Right now the concern is coastal ecosystems and coastal livelihoods.

  58. I remember, many a year ago, as a youg teen visiting Bermuda I was struck by the little foot wash baths to clean the oil off feet left behind by passing freighters. No oil spills per se just the 'pellets' left by passing ships in their ordinary day to day operation. 5,000 barrels a day injected into the system strikes me as a far worse threat to everyday life. Months of this leak...*shudder*.

  59. One of the better, regularly updated, graphic presentations of the slick is here:

  60. Another Gulf news source:

  61. Actually, I think it was a bottle of Wild Turkey. Got it yet?